A trial looking to improve brain surgery using a new type of imaging (HELICoiD)

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Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Brain (and spinal cord) tumours





This trial is looking at whether a new type of imaging can improve brain surgery.

More about this trial

Surgeons use their eyes to see the difference between normal brain tissue cells and tumour cells during surgery. Researchers hope a new type of imaging will help show the difference between the cells so surgery is more accurate. 

This new type of imaging is called Hyperspectral imaging. It works by taking pictures during the surgery using a special spectral camera. Samples are removed from the brain where the pictures are taken to see what part is tumour and what is healthy tissue. These samples are tiny – up to 1ml in total volume.

If the results are good, and a difference can be seen, surgeons want to use this imaging in the future for brain surgery. 

The aims of the study are to find out if hyperspectral imaging can:

  • see the difference between normal brain cells and tumour cells 
  • change the amount of brain tissue the surgeons have to remove
  • show different types of tumours

Who can enter

You can join this trial if you are going to have surgery to a tumour in your brain at the Wessex Neurological Centre in Southampton. 

Trial design

This is a pilot trial

You have your brain surgery as planned. Your operation will not be different but it will be around 20 minutes longer while the surgeon takes pictures and samples.

Hospital visits

You have your operation at the Wessex Neurological Centre in Southampton. You see your surgeon as normal after the operation but there is no follow up with the trial team.

Side effects

There are no side effects from this trial. There are side effects from the surgery itself. You doctor will go through these with you.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Mr Diederik Bulters

Supported by

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Rhys was only four years old when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour

A picture of Rhys

"He went through six operations and was placed on a clinical trial so he could try new treatments.”

Last reviewed:

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